Renfrewshire Council

Message from Chief Executive, Sandra Black - 22 January 2021

As you will be all too aware, earlier this week Scottish Government confirmed that the current lockdown measures in place will be extended until at least the middle of February. While early signs are that the restrictions are having some impact, the number of cases is still too high to make any changes.

This means that for now the 'stay at home' message remains and you must continue to only leave home for essential shopping or other essential reasons, such as outdoor exercise, a hospital or doctor's appointment, caring responsibilities and for essential work if you are unable to work from home and not shielding. You can read more about the lockdown regulations on the Scottish Government website.

The decision to extend restrictions also applies to the current arrangements for our schools and nurseries, and I'd like to thank all our teachers and staff, who have continued to work to keep our schools and nurseries open to in-person learning, but most importantly provide a safe and welcoming environment for the children of key workers and our vulnerable children and young people.

It has been a tremendous effort to put arrangements for remote learning and support for our young people into place and I'd also like to thank all parents and carers who are trying to balance work and home schooling. I can appreciate how difficult it must be, and I would like to assure you that we are here to support you and I would encourage anyone to speak out if you are struggling.

Earlier today it was confirmed that the council is supporting NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with the local rollout of the Covid19 vaccination programme.

There will be three vaccination centres here in Renfrewshire, at: The Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley, Johnstone Town Hall and Renfrew Leisure Centre. Work is well under way and I'd like to thank teams from across the council and our Renfrewshire Leisure colleagues who are working hard to make sure these are operational from Monday 1 February.

Vaccinating as many people as possible is an essential step to stopping the spread of Covid19, protecting you, your family and friends, and allowing the government to start lifting restrictions and getting life back to normal again, which I know we all want to see.

More information on the vaccine, how it works, and why it has been judged as safe is available from the NHS Inform website.

Vaccinations amongst our care home colleagues and residents is progressing well, with all having been offered their first dose, and our care at home and social care colleagues are now able to receive the vaccination in line with the priority groups. Colleagues who are in these groups and are eligible will, or may already have been contacted to book a vaccination appointment, and I would encourage you to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Those of you who stay local, or who have passed Renfrewshire House this week, can't have failed to notice the new walk through testing centre that opened in our Bridge Street car park on Tuesday. The centre is part of the NHS/Government national testing programme and is in addition to the main sites, such as the one at Glasgow Airport. The walk-through centre is open to anyone who has symptoms of Covid19 (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) and free parking is available across the road at Renfrewshire House. You can book a test and get more information on testing here

Thank you all once again for your hard work and commitment and please take care and stay safe

Sandra